In January, I read The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, by Marie Kondo. It was a timely read, as I happened to be in the beginnings of a life changing crises of sorts, which you can read about here if you require the sordid details.
I thought the book was wonderful, and I love her system. I will say that I did not end up considering the feelings of my socks as she suggests, nor do I empty my purse of its contents at the end of each day, because my purse is very sturdy and does not need to rest, but I did find the approach of being thankful and releasing an item into the world to be used by someone else a very helpful one. The author is quirky, but I would recommend it-- as with all books, take what serves and gratefully (and kindly) let go of what does not.
Anyway, after about six months of tidying, everything in my home has been vetted, has earned its place, and has a place to belong. (Oh alright, except for the one clothes basket of great vintage decor that I want to sell and the dresses hanging on the bathroom door to go to consignment next week.)
Today I finished sorting through the wooden trunk I use for a memory box, which now houses the following:
1. Baby Book (my mother did a nice job of filling it out; I decided it stays, though I did toss out my baby teeth and the evidence of my first hair cut.)
2. Printed copy of blog number one: Simplicity Soup
3. Printed copy of blog number two: Mighty Violet
4. The house prints I designed for this house and four magazine clippings I used to envision it--very eerie to look at them-- Oliver thought one of them was our house.
5. My grandfather's stamp collection
6. A few large ziploc bags of the most meaningful cards and letters I have received since I was a very young girl to the present. This was very hard to sort, as I am not yet sure how some of my relationships will end up-- these things have a way of meandering. I will be able to cull further when I'm nearer the end, I think. (Assuming I am not near the end now, which is a grand assumption. A bridge to cross at a later date.)
7. A few journals that still held information that could be of use in future writing projects, and weren't too embarrassing to keep.
8. One folder filled with scraps of the good bits from journals that were too embarrassing to keep, lists I have made, and in general, pages of the kinds of wit and wisdom that blossoms forth from my brilliant mind. (This I keep to assuage my otherwise downtrodden and eager for attention ego; it should please be burned upon my repose.)
9. One small box of the small bits and bobs that friends have sent over the years, or that I have found in nature and deemed too precious to discard. Included are a black snail shell, a pink snail shell, a silver penny, two brass keys from my farm house, pieces of sea glass, and an aluminum can rose. This is an interesting box.
10. A couple of other small things that don't have a good home and that I'm on the fence about keeping.
I suppose there are sentimental items scattered through the house on display, and I do store photos elsewhere, but it feels good (understatement) to be through this process and to have peeled away so many layers of who I thought I was, who I am, who I want to be, and where this ship is headed.
I think I'll probably do it all again, just a couple more times, to find right where I need to be. One thing I'm thinking about a lot lately is reducing my needs. No comment yet, just thoughts. You can think about it too, and why a person might desire such a thing, and how feasible it is, and how contrary to the messages we've been receiving all of our lives.
In other news, this poor dog had an open spot on his muzzle that he wouldn't leave alone, so we had to resort to the cone of shame. He was truly degraded for the first 24 hours and wouldn't even sit up straight-- just slouched around and looked at us with woeful eyes. He also kept running into doorways and things because his head is wider than he is used to. We have tried not to laugh. The good news is that the sore spot is now healing, so it shouldn't be too long before Louie is back to his old happy self, sans cone.
And that toy John Deere tractor in the photo? Not something I personally would choose to keep, or purchase in the first place. It came as a surprise (yay?) when we ordered our lawn mower, and has stuck around for a while. Siblings like to fight over it when they come over, so that's fun. I just thought I should throw that in there, in case anyone was wondering how in the world it survived the tidying.
Love to all.